As you know we've been in a series talking about ROOTS. We discussed how strong roots help us produce good fruit. We also talked last week about the hidden life of roots. However today I want to encourage you with this quick message "I'm Rootin' For You." Previously I told you that the roots help a tree stand tall during this life expectancy. On the other hand, roots planted by a riverbank allows the tree access to support despite the season it's in. Psalms One tells us that in each season, the leaves of a tree planted by the river bank will never wither because the support that it receives underneath the surface. So many times in life we find ourselves seeking the public support of other people not realizing the support we have underground. Even as we study the life of David, who was the disowned son of Jesse but the beloved King appointed by God, we have to stop an realize that although the people we expect to water us doesn't that we still have a hidden channel of support underneath.
Today as we continue our series we come across a man by the name of Nicodemus. Many of you know Nicodemus as the man who came to Jesus at night. However, I want to argue on today that Nicodemus wasn't a hater, shader, or spectator but rather a root. We find the story of Nicodemus in John 3:1-21 as he approaches Jesus at night time, which is an indication of his privacy or desire of not wanting to be seen. The first thing I want you to pay attention to as we cruise through the text is that although Nicodemus came by night his first order of business was to affirm Jesus. And this is where I want to pause and parenthetically digress because i highly doubt Jesus didn't need his affirmation. However, I came to let you know that the first line of business for your secret supporters and hidden roots is - affirmation. While all the other folks are looking for something to praise and celebrate Nicodemus understand that if I can affirm him -maybe that will cause stand - I mean to stay where he is. We all know the rest of the story. Jesus turns and tells him "Truly you cannot see the kingdom of Heaven unless you are born again." Pause - because I want to suggest that Jesus knew where His heart was before he came. The issue wasn't his private affirmation but rather his public resistance." Ain't it funny when folks can hop in your DMs but can't like or share your post." Nevermind I'm moving along.
The second place in the bible we find Nicodemus is in John 7:50-51 when the Pharisees meet back up after sending the temple guards to arrest Jesus. The story says that the temple guard was so taken back by his truth that they couldn't arrest him. They then go on to plot and shade Jesus. This is where it gets good because lo and behold my homeboy Nicodemus is in the cut. While they are plotting to convict and kill Jesus, they didn't know His Roots were hidden in the room. Point number two this is how you folks are rooting for you. When your spectators become participators! Notice Nicodemus goes from watching them talk about Jesus to speaking up for Jesus. He says "is it legal for us to convict someone who hasn't been yet convicted of a crime." He goes from walking with power to speaking truth to power.
Look point number three and I'm out. The last time we find brother Nicodemus is in John 19:39-42 after they have successfully framed, tortured, and killed the King. And let me pause again to digress and suggest "your testimony could be the nail between life and death." Of course, Jesus was predestined to go through this, which is why I don't fault Judas. However, you're not Jesus. SPEAK UP. Look at your neighbor and say "neighbor I'm Rooting for You" now look back at them and say "Well Speak Up." So finally the last place we see Nicodemus is at the burial of Jesus and what is so interesting here, as I close, is that this is the only place we see Jesus and Nicodemus together in the light. The bible says that after Jesus has died a man called "Joseph of Arimathea" ask for the body of Jesus to bury and what's even more interesting about this text is the bible calls him "a secret disciple" because he was afraid of the Jewish leaders as well. So that all the attention and all the followers have faded God uses the secret support to replant Him. I don't like using the word bury because He didn't stay died. So this is my final point and I'm gone is this - how you know you got real supporters is because when its all said and done - their still there providing for you. Now I know the argumentative millennial is saying "he still fake because it's like grandmama said 'don't wait till I'm dead to give me my flowers." Hold up now smart thinker because this is where we turn up. Because a couple of chapter before this Jesus predicts his own death and coins this "Except a corn of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it abides alone, but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit." Might I suggest that you thought they didn't appreciate you when truth be told they were rooting for you so that God could replant you? You going through what you're going through isn't you being buried but replant. Notice the life cycle of a tree starts as a seed, develops into a sprout, grows into a tree, produces fruit, and from the fruit come more seed to replant. Look at your neighbor and say "Neighbor I'm rooting for you."
I didn't mean to write you a long drawn out message but rather to encourage many of you today that "we're Rooting for You." Not only are we, as believers, here to water for each other in the tough seasons but we're rooting ourselves firmly in the ground to hold you up when things try to knock you down.